Various Artists

Can-Can [Original Soundtrack]

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Can Can is neither the best Frank Sinatra movie musical out there nor his best soundtrack, which is disappointing considering that the source Cole Porter songs are so strong. Still, the soundtrack does have its charms and features Sinatra's definitive, wrist-slashing interpretation of "It's All Right With Me." But Sinatra doesn't handle the vocal chores alone; he shares the spotlight with the eternally charming Maurice Chevalier, Louis Jourdan, and Shirley MacLaine. The first two handle themselves with French élan, but MacLaine's zany "I sing like a kooky kid" shtick, which works as a comedic turn in the movie, quickly becomes grating on the soundtrack album. MacLaine's approach even affects the quality of her duet with Sinatra on "Let's Do It (Let's Fall in Love)." Thankfully, Sinatra's tender but heartbroken take on "It's All Right With Me" is so great that it alone makes the album worth owning. This track stands out as one of the finest ballads of his Capitol Records era and was worthy of being included on such classic torch albums as Only the Lonely. It's odd that this cut turns up so infrequently in Sinatra's massive digital catalog. The soundtrack features another of Cole Porter's "one night stand" classics, but Maurice Chevalier's customary twinkle-eyed reading of "Just One of Those Things" is far removed from Sinatra's darker jazz interpretation. That Frank Sinatra cast such deep emotional pain into Cole Porter's witty romps remains one of the reasons why so many other singers stand in his shadow.

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